Regular helps fight fire at popular Bankers Hill restaurant


SAN DIEGO — A longtime customer of a popular Bankers Hill restaurant jumped into action Wednesday when he saw thick smoke coming from the building.

The fire at Hob Nob Hill on First Avenue was reported just after 11 a.m. Dutch House, a whiskey educator at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, said he was leaving the restaurant after having breakfast when he saw smoke.

“We came out to the car and we looked back and it was just a ton of black smoke,” House said. “We ran back into the restaurant, told them there was a fire. We grabbed a fire extinguisher, used as much of that as we could, then we grabbed a garden hose and beat it back as much as we could.”

That’s when House says firefighters got to the restaurant and took over firefighting efforts. A San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson said they found flames coming from outside the restaurant. First and Juniper were closed as crews put out the fire.

The restaurant has been in Bankers Hill since 1944 and House said he’s been eating there for more than 30 years. Restaurant owner Tanya Warchol said words can’t describe her gratitude to House for stepping in to help.

The cause of the fire and extent of the damage is still under investigation.

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